Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2011 Issue

In The News:  Bail Revoked for Book Thief Charged with Murder, & More

Humantorch2

A 1948 Human Torch was one of the comics stolen from Homer Marciniak.

Bail has been revoked for the alleged mastermind in a case of a book theft that turned into a murder charge. In the summer of 2010, the U.S. attorney in Buffalo, New York, alleged Rico Vendetti hired three accomplices to rob the comic book collection of 77-year-old Homer Marciniak. Marciniak began his collection, estimated to be worth $40,000 - $100,000, while still a boy. Vendetti, who allegedly made a living selling comics and numerous other stolen items on eBay, saw Marciniak's collection as a good fit for his business. According to the indictment, Vendetti's modus operandi was not stealing goods himself, but purchasing things others had stolen, naturally at a discount to fair market value. He reportedly was taking in around $50,000 per month from his "business."

 

However, this particular theft turned deadly after the alleged accomplices entered the elderly man's home. Marciniak was beaten during the robbery. He was briefly hospitalized for cuts and bruises suffered during the attack. Later that evening, roughly ten hours later, Marciniak suffered a fatal heart attack. The indictment alleges this resulted from the psychological trauma Marciniak suffered as a result of the physical attack.

 

Last fall, the U.S. Attorney charged Vendetti and three others with murder and other counts. In late March, a grand jury handed down indictments against Vendetti, 41, Arlene Combs, 26, Albert Parsons, 42, and Donald Griffin, 23, for felony murder. Vendetti and Combs were also charged with racketeering and witness tampering. All four face mandatory life sentences without parole if convicted. U.S. Attorney William Hochul released a statement saying, "…what began as a local burglary case has - through the tireless efforts of local, county, state and federal officers - become a federal racketeering and murder case." The three accomplices were already in jail when the Judge on the case revoked Vendetti's bail. He, too, will now await trial in a prison cell.

 

A group of changes in consumer protection rules approved by the European Union's Parliament evidently has some booksellers irked. The one in particular that has them concerned is an extension of the time period in which purchasers have an unlimited right to return goods purchased online or through a catalogue. Currently that period is 7 days. The new rules extend that to 14. The purpose of the extension is to encourage more trade between the countries of the European Union. Consumers may be reluctant to purchase items shipped from another country. The expectation is that having a longer period of time to inspect the goods will give people more confidence to purchase items from across national borders.

 

However, according to an article in TheBookseller.com, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association has voiced opposition to the change. Their concern is that people could buy a book, have enough time to read it, and then return it without having to pay. Perhaps even worse, they theorized some people might buy a book, put it up for sale on eBay at a premium, and if it doesn't sell in 14 days, send it back. Certainly, these are concerns, though they may be more theoretical then actual. That's a lot of work for saving a small amount of money, and if someone regularly abuses the privilege a bookseller could cut that customer off. The effect of the change is likely to be small, but presuming it goes through, time will tell.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b> Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Lyscosthenes, Conrad. <i>Prodigiorum ac ostentorum chronicon,</i> Basilea: Henricus Petrus, c. 1557, first edition, folio. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Collection of Ethiopic Religious Texts, in Ge'ez , illuminated manuscripts on vellum, c. 1700-20th c. (5 pcs.) $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Augustinus, Aurelius Sanctus.<br><i>De Civitate Dei,</i> Venice: Bonetus Locatellus per Octavianus Scotus, 9 Febbraio, 1486, 4to. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Choiseul-Gouffier, Marie Gabriel Comte de. <i>Voyage Pittoresque de la Grece,</i> Paris, J.J. Blaise, 1782-1809-1822, first edition. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Rufinus, Tyrannius (c. 345-411). <i>Expositio in symbolum apostolorum,</i> [Cologne, Ulrich Zel, c. 1472], first edition. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Magnus, Albertus. <i>Summa de eucharistiae sacramento,</i> Ulm: Johann Zainer, 1474. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Strabo. <i>Rerum geographicarum libri septemdecim. A Guilielmo Xylandro Augstano magna cura recogniti…,</i> Basel, Henricpetri, (August 1571). $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Riou, Stephen (1720-1780). <i>The Grecian Orders of Architecture. Delineated and Explained from the Antiquities of Athens,</i> London, 1768. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Mair, Paul Hektor. <i>Geschlechter Buch...der...Statt Augspurg,</i> Frankfurt am Maim, Sigmund Feyerabend, 1580. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b><center>Neal Auction Company<br>Spring Estates 2021<br>April 16-18</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Polybius (c. 200-118 B.C.). <i>Historiarum libri priores quinque,</i> Basel: Johann Herwagen, 1549. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> Bellori, Giovanni Pietro. <i>Columna Antoniniana Marci Aurelii Antonini Augusti rebus gestis insignis Germanis simul...,</i> Rome, [1672]. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Neal Auction Co., Apr. 16:</b> <i>Ecclesiasticae Historiae, Eusebii Pamphili...Eiusdem de vita Constantini...Socratis...,</i> Paris, Robert Estienne, 1544. $800 to $1,200.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

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